Dorothy Richardson - PilgrimageI’ve got myself all behind with reviews and busybusybusy. I’ve got A Big Thing coming up and I’m trying to get sorted out for it, and I seem to have been near the end of David Kynaston’s “Modernity Britain” forEVER. Argh. Plus I’ve read two books that I want to review with a third. And why are all clothes in the shops vile at the moment, by the way?? Aaaaanyway, here’s my review of the next in the “Pilgrimage” series. Aren’t I good to have got it read so early in the month?! Oh, and of course, it counts as my first (and only so far) All Virago / All August read (or Some Virago / Some of August).

Dorothy Richardson – “Oberland”

(28 March 2015)

We’re onto that last big volume at the bottom of the pile now – can you believe it? Five slim books in this tome picked up in Macclesfield which led me to think, “Well, I’ve got 1 and 4 and there are 2 and 3 on offer, so …” Well, they ARE slim books so it won’t be too much of a time-consumer through the rest of the year, and I couldn’t give up now, could I!

This is Book 9 of the series and rather than trudge around London in the rain thinking of comparative religion and Russian philosophy, we accompany Miriam on a two-week holiday to Switzerland.

To be honest, she seems pretty snobby and man-mad in this volume. She’s trying to impress them by being not-like-a-normal-woman, but seemingly trying to impress them all the same, and this gets a bit annoying (sorry, Miriam). I did love the descriptions of the scenery and her attempts at tobogganing and reconnection with skating – she seems at her best when engaging in sports, somehow. But the book was also frustrating. There was talk of well-remembered times in Cambridge that I just do not recall reading about (please, someone, correct me if I’m wrong – we have got through quite a lot of bookage!) and there were some scenes from the Continent from a time I don’t remember with her, too, including a sad animal thing thrown in for seemingly no reason at all!

So a bit patchy, I’m afraid, although perfectly readable in itself. And I still want to know what Miriam gets up to next.

This was the first book for my All Virago / All August mini-challenge.

So, as mentioned, I’m STILL finishing the Kynaston but I really do have only about 20 pages to go. I’ve also read two sports books, Freddie Flintoff’s biography and an excellent book on being a slow but happy runner, Lisa Jackson’s “Your Pace or Mine?” which I recommend to any runner. I’m part-way through Jo Pavey’s autobiography, and you can see why I want to review those three together. But I will be picking up a Virago for my next fiction read, soon, and it’s going to be a Wharton – “The Reef”. Anyone read that?

See - almost there. Copious notes take up a lot of the last lot of pages.

See – almost there. Copious notes take up a lot of the last lot of pages.